Spaghetti Squash Boats with Pesto

It’s become pretty popular to find all sorts of different ways to make pasta out of veggies; spaghetti squash is a big one. One cup of cooked white spaghetti contains about 220 calories and 42 grams of carbs, while one cup of spaghetti squash has approximately 42 calories and 10 grams of carbs. We all love our pasta but sometimes the healthier route is the way to go. Spaghetti squash is great with a standard red sauce or tossed in EVOO, but we were feeling our homemade pesto this time.


For the boats:

2 medium size spaghetti squash
Sea salt
Black pepper
Paprika
Garlic powder
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

For the toppings:

1-5 oz bag spinach
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp EVOO
Pesto

For the chickpea strips:

1-16 oz can chickpeas
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
½ tbsp EVOO + 2 tbsp more for sautéing

(Makes 4 servings)

Preheat the oven to 375° and lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut the spaghetti squash* spaghetti-squashlengthwise and scrape out the core & all seeds. Drizzle the insides with EVOO, sea salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Place insides down on the sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes. When finished and cool enough to handle, scrape the insides with a fork to form spaghetti look.

While the squash is baking, heat about 2 tbsp EVOO in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain chickpeas, rinse, and throw into a medium size mixing bowl. Mash nearly all the beans using a fork or back of a spoon. Pour in the ½ tbsp EVOO, ¼ tsp each of black pepper, onion powder, paprika, and the 1/8 tsp sea salt. Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, scoop out some of the mixture and form into small tender shapes. Make sure to tightly pack the strips so they do not fall apart. Cook in the heated oil for 2 minutes each side. Place on double layer of paper towels when finished.

Briefly rinse the pan, place back on stove over low-medium heat, and heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the bag of spinach. After 2 minutes, add sun-dried tomatoes, 1/8 tsp onion powder and black pepper to taste. Cook for about 3-5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until desired wiltedness.

Plate your Nomz! We like to eat our spaghetti squash straight from the boat but you can scrape it out into a dish, if you prefer. Top squash with spinach & sun-dried tomatoes, chickpea strips, and drizzled pesto.

Notes:
*If too hard to cut all the way through, make knife holes around the squash lengthwise. Cook in the microwave for 45 seconds, then attempt to cut again.

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